Bobcats of the week of March 16, 2009

Sylvan Ellefson '09
Making his fourth appearance at the NCAA Skiing Championships, senior Sylvan Ellefson(Vail, Colo.) didn't quite get the results he wanted, but he put forth an outstanding showing nonetheless and was a major factor in Bates' five-athlete contingent placing 13th overall at the championships, the Bobcats' fourth consecutive top-15 showing at NCAAs.Ellefson felt under the weather at Thursday's 10K Classical Technique race, but he gutted out an 18th-place finish, covering the course in 25:34.4. On Saturday, on another beautiful day at Black Mountain, with a large representation of Bates supporters, Ellefson came in 12th in the 20K Freestyle race, narrowly missing his second career All-America honors, awarded to the top 10 finishers.

"I was so happy coming to the finish, but at the same time, it's the end of my college career. So it was a little bit sad, but awesome all at the same time," he said. "I'm happy with how I finished. The thing that made my day was the people from Bates that were here today; seeing all my friends and people from the crowd, it was really fun having people here."

Ellefson's senior teammate Sam Evans-Brown(Gilmanton Iron Works, N.H.), making his first NCAA appearance, also moved up on his second day, placing 27th in the freestyle after coming in 36th in the classical race. SophomoreNatalie Ruppertsberger (Plainfield, N.H.) also competed well on the women's side, giving Ellefson two Nordic teammates at NCAAs after two straight years of being the team's only representative at nationals. The Bates trio teamed up with alpine teammates Liz Thompson and Micaela Holland to represent Bates skiing in admirable fashion all week.

Liz Thompson '09
Liz Thompsonfinished her remarkable collegiate skiing career with a flourish last week at the NCAA Skiing Championships, hosted by Bates. Thompson, the first Bates women's alpine skier to qualify for NCAAs in all four of her years, had career-best NCAA finishes in both the giant slalom and the slalom, helping to propel Bates to an outstanding team showing of 13th place overall.Thompson (Rangeley, Maine) finished 18th in the GS on Thursday despite being seeded last in the event, which is usually not her strong suit. Thompson was 13th in the field after her first run of 1:18.33, then skied a second run of 1:21.07 for a combined time of 2:39.40.

"I really haven't had a good year in GS, so I was hoping for some solid finishes," said Thompson. "I was happy with my first run, and I was a little disappointed that I couldn't have a second run that I was happy with, but it was OK."

She followed that the next day by placing 11th in the slalom, only 0.21 seconds behind Eva Huckova of Utah from reaching the top 10 and earning All-America honors. Thompson stood in first place at the conclusion of her second run, but the top 10 spots all filled up after her.

"Any top 15 finish would have been exciting, so I can't really complain," said Thompson, whose previous best NCAA finish in her four trips to NCAAs was yesterday's 18th-place showing in the giant slalom. "I did what I needed to do, but everyone behind me just skied really well."

Along with alpine teammate Micaela Hollandand Nordic teammates Sylvan Ellefson, Sam Evans-Brown and Natalie Ruppertsberger, Thompson helped Bates finish 13th at the championships, the Bobcats' fourth consecutive top-15 placing at NCAAs.